MORGANTOWN — An auto repair shop on Stewart Street has been closed after suffering flooding damage June 13.
Co-owner Travis Rowan said an insurance adjuster has been by and he hopes to reopen in a few days, but there is no timeline.
“At this point, we’re still finding stuff that’s damaged,” he said.
When Rowan arrived at the shop he owns with his brother, there was “probably every bit of 3 feet” of rain in the back parking lot, he said. Five cars were totaled because of the water and mud damage, and 8 inches of rain made it into the garage.
Rowan said the damage was made worse by the fact that a pond, which breached in a construction site above his shop, Shorty Anderson’s Auto Service, was not properly secured against the rain.
“It’s very evident that they just didn’t do what they were supposed to do, and we’ve been down for a week because of it,” Rowan said. “We have lost a lot of money, and it’s gonna cost a lot of money to get it cleaned up.”
Rowan said the contractor, which The Dominion Post was not able to reach Monday, did not have a silt fence — meant to catch sediment running off construction sites — which caused several large drains in the back lot to become covered in debris.
In photos provided to The Dominion Post by Rowan, a silt fence, or the remnants of one, are not visible. There was a silt fence around the pond Monday, which Rowan said was installed after the flood.
“It was a bad rain. We all know it was,” he said. “It came quick. It came fast, but had their pond not breached and had there been a silt fence up to protect our drains down here, it would never have been anywhere near as bad as what it is.”
Ken Hacker, senior engineer with the Morgantown Utility Board, said the customer paid to have MUB run a storm tap to that pond, and it was tied in May 27. However, the area recorded 4.8 inches of rain — the largest amount recorded — and “nothing was going to handle that,” Hacker said.
Rowan also said he isn’t sure how the project of 72 townhomes and two apartments was approved by the West Run Zoning Commission.
That same commission, 10 years ago, denied a request by Rowan’s uncles to place six apartment buildings behind the shop because the area’s water system couldn’t handle any more water, Rowan said.